Business / Corporate

Yamato to hike delivery rates for first time in 27 years

Kyodo

Yamato Transport Co., the nation’s leading door-to-door parcel delivery provider, plans to raise its base shipping fees by the end of September for the first time in 27 years, company sources said Tuesday.

The rate hike is aimed at maintaining service quality as the firm faces insufficient manpower, including van drivers, amid an increase in online shopping and struggles with growing costs for outsourcing a part of its deliveries, the sources said.

The group firm of Yamato Holdings Co. has already begun talks with major clients, including Amazon.com Inc.’s Japan unit, over the envisioned fee increase, they said.

Excluding fee increases that accompanied consumption tax rate hikes, Yamato last raised its shipping fees in 1990, when they were hiked by between ¥100 and ¥110 amid higher personnel costs. The company has yet to determine the size of the upcoming fee hike, according to the sources.

Yamato Holdings is promoting reforms in its work culture after finding huge levels of unpaid overtime.

Currently, shipping rates vary by parcel size, as well as the location of the dispatch and the destination.

For example, it costs ¥756 to send a parcel that weighs up to 2 kg and measures up to 60 cm in length, width and height within the same region.

Among other possible changes in the fee system, Yamato is considering levying surcharges on parcels processed during the end of the year and other peak periods, the sources said.

In Japan, a sender and a receiver can decide on the day of delivery and choose among given time options to receive a parcel, and can also request the same service for re-delivery.

As part of the work culture reforms, the group is considering dropping the delivery time option between noon and 2 p.m. and charging for re-delivery as this is the main cause of long working hours.